turkey trot n
1 A rapid walk or trot; hence adj turkey-trotting. esp Sth, S Midl
1839 S. Lit. Messenger 5.377 NC, May-be I didn’t set up a high turkey trot, and peeled it like thunder. 1859 Taliaferro Fisher’s R. 36 nwNC (as of 1820s), You’re a purty set uv ill-begotten, turkey-trottin’ pukes, to raise a quarrel with a peaceubble man, and then run like a gang uv geese. Ibid 71, I moseyed home in a turkey-trot. 1878 Galveston Daily News (TX) [20 Dec 3]/3 (newspaperarchive.com), When called upon to halt he struck a turkey-trot. 1887 Ibid 24 Sept 4/4 San Antonio TX, Briggs can call Jenkins, Lowe, et al. “everlasting, never-to-be-forgotten, flea-bitten, turkey-trotting, slew-footed, box ankled, knock-kneed, pigeon-toed, bean-eyed, bucket-headed cranks and liars” as much as he pleases. 1895 Remington Pony Tracks 187, He would run me off the reservation at a turkey-trot if I did shoot. 1907 Chicago Tribune (IL) 24 Nov sec B 2/5, [Advt:] You’d better do a turkey trot to the box office and exchange some of your soft money for A Bunch of Geo. M. Cohan’s Laughter. 1912 Green VA Folk-Speech 402, Turkey-trot. . . A fast walk, swaying from side to side: “He always goes at a turkey-trot.”
2 A popular dance performed with the feet wide apart and a swaying up-and-down gait; hence v turkey-trot to perform the dance; vbl n turkey-trotting. chiefly Nth, N Midl See Map
1874 in 1962 Nathan Dan Emmett 88, De two best steps you hab forgot—/ De “long-jay-bow” an’ “turkey trot.” [Footnote: Performed in 1855] 1888 Century Illustr. Mag. 35.468 Sth [Black], A voice . . added words to the strains of the fiddle, the dancer adapting her steps to the hints given: “Shuffl’, littl’ Lou;/. . . / Forwood [sic] too;/. . . / Back step, Lou;/. . . / Turkey trot Lou.” 1908 Davenport Butte & MT 42, The light fantastic, the turkey trot and the pazamala were indulged in by all to a late hour. 1910 Washington Post (DC) 1 Dec 6/6 CA, San Francisco has produced in the “Turkey Trot” dance a novelty in terpsichorean art. 1913 Current Opinion 55.263 csWI, The University of Wisconsin proposes to expel any student guilty of “turkey-trotting,” which it puts on the same plane as drunkenness. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. FF5a, . . Different steps and figures in dancing—in past years) 36 Infs, chiefly Nth, N Midl, Turkey trot. 1993 NY Times (NY) 13 July sec C 17/4, [Advt:] Non-stop stepping from a Fox-trot to a Turkey Trot.
3 also Turkey Run, ~ Town: A remote or insignificant place. Cf possum n 5
1905 Puck 12 Apr 16, Cuck Uckleston came in from Turkey Trot, last Wednesday, and reported that everybody was fair to middling, out that way. 1906 DN 3.162 nwAR, Turkey Run. . . Name applied facetiously to an imaginary, remote, or insignificant hamlet or railroad station. 1910 NY Observer (NY) 9 June 739/2, The Turkey Trot Tribune useter be such a mild, conservative sort of paper. 1966 DARE (Qu. C33, . . Joking names . . for an out-of-the-way place, or a very small or unimportant place) Inf FL6, Turkey Town.
4 also turkey run: = dogtrot n. chiefly S Midl Cf possum trot n 1
1937 MO Hist. Rev. 31.442, The more pretentious homes consisted of two separate rooms connected by a roofed-over passage-way or hall-way, which was left open and was used by the family in the summer. . . Different names seem to have been given to this entry or passage-way, a few of which are “dog trot,” “turkey trot,” and “turkey run.” 1944 Howard Walkin’ Preacher 56 Ozarks, The house . . was made largely of roughhewn logs. Originally it must have been two log houses with the traditional turkey trot between them, but now the center section or trot was closed with dressed-lumber boards. 1956 AmSp 31.310, Dog trot. . . turkey trot, wind-sweep, and breezeway, all meaning the same thing. 1970 DARE FW Addit swKY, Turkey trot—the space between two sections of a house. Function: to catch a breeze; also called dogtrot. 1975 McDonough Garden Sass 34 AR, More elaborate than these simple homes was the dog-trot style of house, which consisted of two separate log pens with a covered breezeway between them. This was also referred to as a possum trot, turkey run, wind-sweep, or But-and-Ben style. 1995–97 in 2004 Montgomery–Hall Dict. Smoky Mt. Engl. 621 wNC, eTN, Turkey trot.
5 See turkey n B4.